Algeria’s president hospitalized in France
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, has been admitted to hospital in the French Alpine city of Grenoble, French government and police sources said.
“He was taken into care at Grenoble mutualist clinic yesterday,” a police source told Reuters on Friday.
The clinic did not say why the ailing 77-year-old president was hospitalized and did not give an update on his condition.
Bouteflika has been in poor health since 2013 when he was treated for a “mini-stroke” in Paris.
The Algerian presidency did not confirm the report but said it would release a statement later on Friday.
Bouteflika met French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Algiers earlier this week to discuss bilateral ties between the Countries, according to Reuters.
“He has a small problem with his speech, but intellectually he is working very well,” Fabius said on Monday.
Bouteflika is a war veteran who became Algeria’s youngest minister at the age of 25 and has ruled the country since 1999.
He spent 80 days being treated for the mini-stroke in 2013. He returned to Algiers looking frail in a wheelchair in July of that year and was not seen in public for months. He returned to Paris for more minor treatments in January.
That did not stop him standing for election for a fourth time in April 2014, winning with more than 80 percent of the vote. The opposition refused to recognise the result.
He has been seen only on rare occasions since. In a break from tradition, he failed to appear in public for Eid al-Adha prayers marking the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca last month.
One of the few remaining veterans of the war of independence against France, Bouteflika came to power after helping to end the country’s devastating civil war in the 1990s.
Amendments to the constitution in 2008 cleared the way for him to run indefinitely. He has since taken steps to prevent future presidents from holding the presidency for more than two terms.
In addition to health concerns, his rule has been dogged in recent years by corruption scandals implicating members of his inner circle.